The Washington, DC region is great >> and it can be greater.


Breakfast links: The battle is joined

Photo by Whiskeygonebad on Flickr.
Cameras: the next bike safety feature?: More and more cyclists are wearing helmet cameras so they have evidence in case of, say, an intentional assault by a pickup truck driver. But please, can we stay away from "war" rhetoric? (Examiner)

McDonnell stops faking bipartisanship: Governor Bob McDonnell filled a key commission with coal executives, and has excluded almost all Democrats and the public from secret government reform commission meetings. (Post)

Sulaimon Brown arrested, does one thing right: Sulaimon Brown was arrested in a traffic stop. Was it because police recognized him, as he says, or because he had a fake police parking placard? (Post) ... He's right about one thing: if an unmarked car pulls you over, it's best to stay in the car and call 911. (We Love DC)

Metro morsels: 150,000 riders can now add value to SmarTrips online. ... If you're riding at Wheaton, prepare for a long walk. ... 88 WMATA managers get to take agency vehicles home. ... Union members get their pay raises. (Post, Examiner)

Small savers get a slide: NPS might resist putting playgrounds on its property, but there will be one at the Treasury Department, which kids at 2 federal daycares will be able to use. It's just temporary, though. (City Paper)

Architects pick box for big prize: The AIA DC chapter's favorite new building is a boring glass box. It's super-green, sure, but not really very innovative. (City Paper)

NYC parking spaces to become parks: NYC parks advocates will turn hundreds of parking spots into parks for Park(ing) Day, and the city has given permission. DC, in contrast, stymied those who tried in years past. (DNAinfo)

Ride with a bell or get strip searched?: New Jersey jails have strip-searched detainees, even those held for such offenses as driving with a noisy muffler or riding a bicycle without a bell. (Post)

And...: Tenleytown might get a 5-story building. Everybody panic! (City Paper) ... Arlington will upgrade some bus stops. (ARLnow) ... A Cincinnati anti-tax group says a streetcar project could be like 9/11. (WLWT)

Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
David Alpert is the founder of Greater Greater Washington and its board president. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He now lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle. 


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It's no surprise that architects picked a glass box full of green gizmos. The institutional side of the profession has long ago given up on the artistic side of architecture, prefering to fetishize the technological side. Maybe it's our times, but most likely it's what every institution does. Group think.

If the public where actually the end group architects strove to serve, then my guess is the best building award would go to something a bit more attractive/imaginative. After all, I think the public takes for granted that the building's mechanical systems will work, however green they might be. But this "safe" glass facade won't offend any architect, while the public has one more reason to think architects don't give a bleep what they think.

by Thayer-D on Sep 13, 2011 8:57 am • linkreport

Hold on. The Mead Center (ie. the new Arena Stage building) didn't qualify for the AIA awards?

(But then again, as far as "boring office buildings" go, that's a very nice one, and maybe it's very nice on the inside?)

by andrew on Sep 13, 2011 9:19 am • linkreport

The Washington Examiner "reporter" tweeted that her war rhetoric was justified because there are "heated" comments in online forums.

@cityglaze @blacknell. War may be too strong a shorthand but folks are awfully heated in comments re: this story:

If you want a three-letter word, the British have a good one: "row". Make Row not War!

by Ward 1 Guy on Sep 13, 2011 9:21 am • linkreport

Hmmm. If 'heated online comments' are the only justification needed to declare something a 'war,' then the word 'war' has lost all meaning.

I wonder what WWII would have been like if we had twitter then. I'm pretty sure the actual 'war' part of it would still rise well above this petty rhetoric in terms of importance. Yeesh.

by Alex B. on Sep 13, 2011 9:30 am • linkreport

The proposed five-story Tenleytown building in no way reflects the sweeping vistas of vacated 1950s concrete structures that are a vital part of the neighborhood's historic character. The building will also bring traffic and other people to the neighborhood, creating a nuisance.

by aaa on Sep 13, 2011 9:35 am • linkreport

I was one of the people that was invited to the larger test program for adding value to my SmarTrip card. After having to change my password (do we really need byzantine rules requiring 2 numbers and a special symbol to make a password), I bought a $20 value to add to my card yesterday. Even though WMATA said it could take a day for it to be reflected, it showed up that same day on my way home. This will be a great addition to SmarTrip's online functions once it's released to everyone.

by Chris L on Sep 13, 2011 9:42 am • linkreport

How is it a war? I don't want people killing each other. Also a "victory" for one side doesn't mean "defeat" for the other. While a bike lane may a appear as a win for cyclists it doesn't mean its now several magnitudes more difficult to drive. But since disagreement is now war then I guess I'm a veteran since last night I warred with my wife on where to eat.

by Canaan on Sep 13, 2011 9:44 am • linkreport

Unfortunately, in Washington it's easier to find candidates for the worst architectural eyesore than than best beautiful masterpiece. The Razzie should definitely go to the atrocious US Institute of Peace monstrosity.

by Falls Church on Sep 13, 2011 10:31 am • linkreport

FYI, Casey Trees has succeeded in getting permission to do a Park(ing) Day installation at a metered space in Dupont Circle:

Perhaps getting a large organization like Casey behind the Park(ing) Day movement will open up opportunities for smaller and grassroots groups to join in.

by Megan on Sep 13, 2011 10:32 am • linkreport

It still doesn't seem to allow you to add passes to your card other than the $15 7-day pass. The drop down box that lets you pick another system doesn't do anything.

by Roger on Sep 13, 2011 10:33 am • linkreport

After what feels like an eternity, the construction near Washington Harbour in Georgetown has finally ended and the new park appears to be open for use.

by Boomer on Sep 13, 2011 11:43 am • linkreport

From the link:Asked why he had a Maryland license, Brown said, “What difference does it make? I’m not going to drive without one.”

Wait ..., what? another DC politician with a MD license?

by Jasper on Sep 13, 2011 1:00 pm • linkreport

That would be "politician", no?

by William on Sep 13, 2011 1:14 pm • linkreport

may be that would be politician

by Helmet Cameras on Sep 14, 2011 1:28 pm • linkreport

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